With the closing of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver recently, it renewed the talk from many about the death of journalism. But for some at the paper, there was no need to cry or worry, there was just moving forward. King Kaufman, who covers sports for Salon.com caught up with Tracy Ringolsby
, a well-known sports writer who has covered the Colorado Rockies baseball team for years. When the RMN shut down on a Friday, he was back up and working that Monday on a blog called Inside the Rockies
as if he'd never missed a beat. He and some colleagues had more or less expected the paper to close down, and simply figured this was the most natural thing to do. And, even though Ringolsby doesn't consider himself particularly internet savvy, he does seem to have a pretty good grasp of where this is all headed:
What I've always said, like when I speak to a journalism group or something, or students, and they ask me if it's a bleak future, I say, "I don't think it's a bleak future once they figure out what the future is." Once they figure out an economic system that works on the Internet, there's probably going to be more demand for writers than there's ever been, because we're the least expensive part of the newspaper anyhow.
I never felt the Internet was a threat. I felt in the long run it was going to be a positive for our business. I was just hoping we'd figure it out before we went through a major recession in the business. We didn't. You know, we didn't, so you move on. Look, I've got a daughter who's 29 years old who I think is fairly intelligent. She's about to get her MBA at SMU. I don't know that she's ever had newsprint on her fingers, but she keeps up with what's going on in the world.
So we can't always sit -- because I'm 58 years old -- and think that everything's supposed to be done the way that it's been done my whole life. I realize that things are changing and you have to be willing to make some adjustments with it.
Who knows if his new efforts will pan out or make him a living (he's got a separate gig on TV that will surely help pay the bills in the meantime), but it is really great to see journalists recognize that just because one newspaper goes out of business it doesn't mean "the end of journalism" and to recognize that the future is coming, and there's going to be plenty of opportunity going forward.